FORT POINT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
FORT POINT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
PO Box 29333
Presidio of San Francisco, California 94129-0333
Fort Point was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1853 and 1861 to prevent entrance of a hostile fleet into San Francisco Bay.
The fort was designed to mount 126 massive cannons. Rushed to completion at the beginning of the Civil War, Fort Point was first garrisoned in February of 1861 by Company I, 3rd U.S. Artillery Regiment. The fort was occupied throughout the Civil War, but the advent of faster, more powerful rifled cannons made brick forts such as Fort Point obsolete. In 1886 the troops were withdrawn. The last cannon was removed in 1900. The fort was then used for storage and training purposes for many years.
Between 1933 and 1937 the fort was used as a base of operations for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. During World War II, Fort Point was occupied by about 100 soldiers who manned searchlights and rapid-fire cannon mounted atop the fort as part of the protection of a submarine net strung across the entrance to the Bay.
Fort Point is the only third system brick fort on the west coast of the United States. It became a National Historic Site on October 16th, 1970.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
to this park:
The following programs are provided free of charge. However, due to changes in programming, please feel free to contact us or consult the sallyport program board for the programs.
Self-Guided Tour: Take a look around Fort Point at your own pace, this booklet will provide you with information about the fort and its history. Our self-guided brochure is also available on the web, just check it out by clicking on the link above.
Cannon Loading Demonstration: Join a member of our staff and learn about the Napoleon 12-pounder field cannon. Afterwards, participate with other visitors on the loading techniques of this cannon. Meet at the small field cannon across the front entrance, at the green benches. Drills usually take about 30-minutes.
Fort History Tour: Join one of the staff members near the front entrance of the fort for a tour. Learn about soldier life, architecture, cannon, cuisine and lots more. Tours usually take about 30-minutes.
Guardians of the Golden Gate Video: This 17-minute video can be seen in the theatre adjacent to the Fort Point Bookstore. This short documentary video will provide you with an understanding of the history of Fort Point.
Building the Golden Gate Bridge Video: This 28-minute video, produced by the Bethelhem Steel Company, is an interesting look into the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unlike other videos about the bridge, this video not only contains footage taken during construction, but relates the story of the steel company and men that actually built the bridge.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area serves as one of the nation's largest and most inspiring urban outdoor classrooms. From fragile indigenous habitats to historic landmarks, ancient redwood groves to dramatic coastal preserve, the park's value as an urban educational resource is unsurpassed. Deeply committed to young people, National Park Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust staff partner with educators to design programs linked to school curriculum and education standards.
Muir Woods National Monument, 12 miles.
Alcatraz Island, 5 miles.
Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, 30 miles.
Point Reyes National Seashore, 60 miles.
John Muir National Historic Site, 40 miles.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
Car - From the north of San Francisco, proceed over the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101 South, staying in the farthest right lane. After passing through the toll gate, take the first available exit to the right, continuing in a circle to the right, through an underpass, through the visitor parking lot, to a stop sign (Lincoln Blvd.), then turn left onto Lincoln Blvd. Follow the road for about 1/4 mile and turn left onto Long Avenue and drive until it dead ends at the fort. <P>From the south, take Highway 101 North towards the Golden Gate Bridge, stay in the farthest right lane and take the "Last San Francisco Exit". Proceed through the parking lot to your right until you reach the stop sign (Lincoln Blvd.). Turn left and proceed to Long Avenue and drive until it dead ends at the fort. <P>From the southeast, take 25th Avenue to Lincoln Blvd. Follow the road for about 1/4 mile and turn left onto Long Avenue and drive until it dead ends at the fort. <P> <br>Public Transportation - San Francisco MUNI buses 28 & 29 stop at the Golden Gate Toll Plaza area. There is a path that leads down to the fort. For more information about bus routes in the bay area call (415) 817-1717. <P>